A group called Plastic Bag Free Ballarat is trying to show the community support for #banthebag single use plastic bags in Victoria.
Nicole Elliott and her sister Donna McMaster met with Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight last Thursday to hand over a letter t asking for her support of the plastic bag ban.
“The meeting went really well. She wanted to know our opinions, how we got involved and said she would look at the enquiry when it came through (the Upper House) today,” Ms Elliott said. Later in the day the group and its supporters met out the front of Ms Knight’s office to add their names to a petition to ban single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags.
“We really want to show that Ballarat is supporting ‘ban the bag’ for the state of Victoria,” Ms Elliott said. “We have been out collecting signatures and we also have a site ‘Ban the Plastic Bags Ballarat’ and we have a lot of people following that, so there are quite a lot of people here who do support it.” Ms Elliott added the environmental impact of plastic bags on the environment is devastating.
Around town you will frequently see bags caught in trees, entangled in debris along our waterways, and occasionally floating through the sky.
If you’re in town you will be hard pressed not to see a discarded plastic bag somewhere on your journey.
A more devastating impact of our blasé attitude towards plastic bags is seen in our oceans, in particular, the impact on wildlife.
As stated in the petition: on average it is estimated we use a single-use plastic bag for just 12 minutes.
That same bag could take up to 1,000 years to break down.
“There are some shops in Ballarat where free bags are not provided. As a result, their customers have changed their ways to suit,” Ms Elliott said.
“But not all shops in town have followed their lead. There are people in Ballarat who care about this issue, and who want our society’s behaviour to change its relationship with shopping bags.”